In recent days across Oregon, the warm days of Summer have expired as quickly as the arrival those of cool & rainy Fall days we’re accustomed to. With wet weather moving in following the wildfires that’ve impacted everyone around the state, those working in agriculture – namely the hop and apple growers, have been racing to harvest the fruits of their labor. Such is the case with Bull Run Cider, one of the 3 cideries we work with, who’ve spent this week harvesting their apple and pear orchards located in Banks, Oregon.
In operation since 2010, Bull Run – their name inspired by the pure waters of our local watershed of the same name, was founded in Forest Grove by Pete Mulligan and Cider Master Maker Galen Williams. Originally sourcing their fruit from others’ small, local orchards, they’re now able to source a majority of their own fruit on land leased by Bull Run.
With over 100 different apple varietals and 10 varieties of Perry Pears now at their disposal, they’re able to create both unique specialty Ciders and Perries, as well as steady brands as Washington County’s first Cidermaker. As a result, they’ve slowly transitioned from their beginnings as solely a local farmers market staple into a steady ciderhouse over the past decade.
Bull Run has found a niche as not only a small, community focused cidery, but also one that seeks out the flavors of traditional Ciders. Like most cideries they harvest dessert apples (Gravenstein, Fuji, Granny Smith, etc.) for their accessible flagship brands such as Bramble Berry and Strawberry Fields, yet they also create a number of special small-batch ciders for their Orchard Club members featuring traditional cider apples such as the Bittersharp, Bittersweet, and Heirloom varieties.
They accomplish their refined ciders by pressing them on-site following harvest, creating 7 barrel batches for their flagship releases, plus 3 barrel batches for their more limited seasonal & Orchard Club offerings.
In late Summer of 2014, Bull Run opened their taproom, located right across the street from Pacific University in downtown Forest Grove. While the taproom is effectively a walk-up window these days, with bottles, growler fills, and draft pours available on site Fridays + Saturdays from 3 to 6pm. Their flagship brands can be found at various bottle shops and boutique chain markets throughout the Willamette & Tualatin Valleys, Bend, and the Oregon Coast.
Their taproom and distribution sales are supplemented by the aforementioned Orchard Club, a bottle club membership that provides exclusive packaged small-batch ciders quarterly:
“It’s exciting for us as it gives us the ability to geek out and create the traditional styles of Ciders and Perries we adore in smaller batches so we can focus heavily on our process and provide our customers with unique ciders that are pure, pristine, and wild. Every bottle included in an Orchard Club shipment is handpicked by our Cider Master, Galen Williams, and our Cider Monger, Kolin Leishman.”
One of their newest small-batch offerings is their 2017 Barrel Aged Single Varietal Jonagold Cider. This cider’s finely balanced interplay of oak and apple tannins provide an excellent example of a traditional, dry cider. This special release is limited to only 30 cases and sure to be a highlight of Cider Summit Portland’s “Classic Bottles kit,” which is happening as a virtual tasting October 17th (sign-up by October 4th).
In addition to the Bull Run brand, they also feature a passion project called Seven Seeds Seidr. These Welsh, Brittany, and Farmhouse-style Ciders are made with no added sugars or yeast and only traditional old world cider apples, all creating a one-of-a-kind naturally fermented cider you won’t find anywhere else in the Pacific Northwest. They can be found bottled in limited quantities at Bull Run’s taproom, as well as on draft through our distribution.
Bull Run and Seven Seeds are the newest Cider brands Day One Distribution has brought on board for delivery throughout Oregon. Their popular Powerhouse Dry and Bramble Berry ciders are the most readily available options, in both 500ml bottles as well as on draft. Also available, but in more limited 375ml bottles, is their specialty Pear Ice Wine. We also provide a variety seasonal draft options including Strawberry Fields, one of their most popular releases. Their bottles are also available via direct shipping to 40 states through their website.